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August 31, 2014 / 5 Elul, 5774
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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

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This type of “rabbi” needs to understand that his methodology of bullying has ended. And I strongly disagree with her assertion that revealing the name of this co-conspirator in her misery is lashon hora. To what end will hiding his name lead? So he can do the same to the next agunah victim?

This injustice perfectly highlights the ongoing problem in our society. The cowards intimidate, threaten and extort, while the victim is perplexed and frightened. This so-called rabbi is typical of the chauvinists who take money from the husbands, support their vicious behavior, and advise them on how to totally destroy their wives. Why do we tolerate them?

Before she becomes a long-term prisoner shackled to her husband, she needs to know that she has the law behind her. Unfortunately, her letter intimates that she is frightened by her husband and his bullying mentor and she wonders whether there is anyone who can at least attempt to help her.

Give me the rabbi’s name and particulars.

Had it up to here!

Dear Had it,

Any decent man or woman with a heart surely cannot help but empathize with this woman’s quandary, inasmuch as the particulars surrounding the case are unknown to us. Kol hakavod for your compassion.

And you are right — she should not have to take the abuse sitting down. Yet you must realize that not everyone is cut out to be confrontational; hence, an intermediary with no emotional investment is best suited to fight the woman’s battle.

Though you seem ready to roll up your sleeves to duke it out, flare-ups (as in angry outbursts) do not generally serve to mollify an already tense situation. On the other hand, conducting dialogue in a composed and self-assured manner stands a far better chance of bringing about a favorable conclusion.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


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